By Griffith Jennings
On Friday, March 16 at Birmingham Community Charter High School (BCCHS), the Granada Hills Charter (GHC) cheer team took third place in the West Valley League Finals.
During the cheer competition teams performed practiced routines. These routines included cheer, partner stunt sequence, pyramid sequence, jumps, tumbling, and a dance.
The three main positions on a cheer team are flyers, bases, and spotters. Being a flyer requires several skills and abilities, including getting lifted or thrown into the air. They need to be confident in themselves and athletic enough to pull off the various stunts asked of them. Flyers also need to be able to keep time during the performance.
A base in cheer is the foundation for the stunt. Bases are the athletes who hold the flyer in the air during a stunt. They tend to be taller and stronger since they have to support the other athletes.
Spotters help the flyer into the stunt but they are not the primary support. They help steady or balance the stunt and catch the flyer, if they fall, to prevent injury.
All of these cheer positions were put to the test at the West Valley/Mission Valley League Finals.
“We get to the competition early and watch other teams. It is really interesting getting to watch your competition. It gets you into a mindset of how hard you have to work in order to beat that team. After everything happens there is an award ceremony and during the beginning it is fun because every team does their own thing or dances to music,” senior Elizabeth Mojica said.
Their start time was scheduled to be 7:20 p.m. and around 7:00 p.m. the team began warming up. They warmed up for 15 minutes before their turn to perform came. This routine snagged them a third place in the competition.
Cheerleading is so much more than simply heading out to the field or the court for a few hours for a game. The team spends countless hours practicing, fundraising, and performing at events.
“I joined cheer to get involved in the school. Cheer has made me a better leader who takes initiative when needed,” sophomore Abigail BenNun said.
Being on the cheer team provides the athletes opportunities to forge lifelong bonds with their fellow athletes, grow into hardworking and talented students, and cultivate their leadership skills.
“Cheer has had such a big impact on my life. I met lifelong friends from it. Through the years it has taught me a lot about team work, hard work, and dedication as well as leadership. After my senior year is over, not having cheer in my life is going to be such a weird feeling. An end of an era,” Mojica said.